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Mode Of Transportation Affects Our Mood, Study Finds

Update Date: May 30, 2014 10:04 AM EDT

Researchers at Clemson studied how emotions like happiness, pain, stress, sadness and fatigue vary during travel and found that people are in best mood whilst they are bicycling, compared to other modes of transportation. 

For determining the average mood felt by people during different types of traveling researchers utilized data from the American Time Use Survey, collected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"We found that people are in the best mood while they are bicycling compared to any other mode of transportation," said Eric Morris, lead author on the study and assistant professor in Clemson's planning, development and preservation department, in the press release

Morris added that bicyclists tend to be a self-selected group who are very enthusiastic about their more of transportation. 

"Bicyclists are generally younger and physically healthy, which are traits that happier people usually possess," he said.

Second most happiest are car passengers followed by car drivers. For bus and train riders, the experience is mostly negative, researchers said. However, a small part of this can be attributed to the fact that mass transit is disproportionately used for commuting to and from work, according to the researchers. 

Their findings suggest that bicycle use may have benefits beyond the typically cited health and transportation ones, and that improving transit riders' emotional experience may be as important as improving traditional service features, such as headways and travel speeds, the press release added. 

"Understanding the relationship between how we travel and how we feel offers insight into ways of improving existing transportation services, prioritizing investments and theorizing and modeling the costs and benefits of travel," said Morris.

The new study has been published in the journal Transportation

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